Barbara Lee was settling into her new office at the Salvation Army facility on Sixth St., in Newton Thursday, her first day on the job as the new director.

She will be running the day to day operations and believes the job will allow her to be even more involved in the community.

She and her husband Larry, moved to Newton in 1999 from Los Angeles, and they were seeking a semi-retirement here. They had lived in the area in the 80s, so coming back was not too much of a culture shock.

"We were looking for semi-retirement in a small town. Here you can be as busy as you want to be, or not at all," she said. "I'm finding the community fills up our time. We stay quite busy."

She has stayed busy before the job at the Salvation Army came open when Marcia Brazil resigned recently. For about eight years Lee worked at Presbyterian Manor as a med-aid.

She is also an on-call chaplain at Newton Medical Center, and plans to stay in that role. Lee is an associate pastor at All Nations Pentecostal Church in Newton.

While living in California, she received her BS degree in manangement, and in 2007 she earned an MA in Christian Ministry from Friends University.

The job at the Salvation Army will allow her to use her education in a more direct way in the community, both as an administrator and in ministry.

The Salvation Army is currently getting started on its back to school programs, providing supplies and backpacks for students.

They are seeing more people in need, and at the halfway point of the year, are also seeing their sources start to dry up.

This weekend Bell ringers will be at both Dillons stores and at Walmart Thursday through Saturday to raise money for school supplies.